This website doesn’t object to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s attempt to limit food stamp recipients’ access to fatty junk. We don’t think such a proposal solves the real problem (the fact far too many people in this state are on food stamps), but whatever.
As we noted in our original post on this subject, beggars can’t be choosers. We just wish government would stop incentivizing all the begging.
Anyway, delivering a pair of body blows to Haley’s healthy eating initiative this week was S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers – a Democrat from Haley’s hometown of Bamberg, S.C.
Sellers’ first blow? Challenging Haley (and her Department of Social Services director, Lillian Koller) to join him “in eating only healthy foods on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funds for one week.”
“While the Governor’s idea sounds good on the surface, poverty and obesity is not caused just by unhealthy foods, but rather expenses and access to healthy alternatives,” Sellers said. “We don’t have Whole Foods in rural South Carolina, nor does the farmer’s market accept food stamps.”
That’s a very good point …
Haley’s response? She trotted out her morbidly obese press secretary, Rob Godfrey, to attack Sellers for creating a “political opportunity” and attempting to “exploit (it) for personal gain.” Then the rotund mouthpiece – who is easily north of 300 pounds – proceeded to lecture the rail-thin lawmaker on how important it was for him to “work with the governor on fighting obesity.”
“I’m very surprised that Governor Haley has rejected my challenge to live on a food stamp budget for a week,” Sellers responded. “Once again we see that the governor’s rhetoric and actions are two entirely different things. It is disappointing that Governor Haley doesn’t understand the problem; but it’s even more disappointing that she is refusing to try and understand the problem.”
Of course Sellers wasn’t finished eating Haley’s lunch.
His second blow? Challenging Haley to support his healthy school lunch legislation, which would “ban sugary, high-fat foods from school lunch programs and remove calorie-loaded snacks and soft drinks from school vending machines.”
“Obesity in South Carolina starts in the schools,” Sellers said. “If Governor Haley truly wants to fight this epidemic, I would ask for her support in helping pass my healthy school lunch bill.”
Speaking of school, Sellers just took Haley back there.
At the end of the day, South Carolinians make poor dietary decisions because most of them don’t know any better. That’s why we support market-based reform of our state’s worst-in-the-nation public education system. And within that free market system, schools ought to make their own decisions regarding “sugary, high-fat foods” as opposed to having the state make that decision for them.